Wednesday, 12 November 2008

... Central America: Sing a new song, Chiquitita

It was buh-bye to our Island paradise to head back to the mainland and continue our journey North. We piled into a bunch of mini-vans around 9am and endured yet another back breaking ride back to Moyogalpa with a quick detour at Ojo de Agua (a waterhole) seeing as our ferry wasn't until 1230pm. I fell asleep in a hammock. On our way to the terminal we picked up a few more passengers - we ended up towing a broken down jeep!?!

Upon landing back in San Jorge we then got into very dodgy looking taxis to Rivas, a crossroad town, where we would board our bus bound for Granada. I thought that if my head wasn't going to explode from the sound of the awful muffler on our cab then you would be reading about an accident involving a bunch of travellers due to the axle falling off.

The bus station was an interesting place. It was more like an open market. People selling stuff everywhere. The funniest thing was when our bus finally arrived and we were told to RUN for it to ensure that a). we got a seat but more importantly b). that we actually got on it. I can now cross off 'ride a chicken bus for a considerable distance' from my checklist of things to do although my passenger thankfully didn't have a chicken with him. He was a mechanic that would travel 2 hours each way every day by bus to get to and from work. This bus I am willing to hedge my bets was probably ridden by some of my Canadian friends to get to & from school.

It was incredibly hot, cramped, smelly and I felt like I could smell uncooked chicken for the entire 2 hour duration. Not a good thing. But where else in the world have I ever ridden an old knackered yellow school bus that originated from Canada, cooped up like a chicken and been able to listen to ABBA in Spanish on the radio!?! That in itself was worth it's weight in gold my friends. Before we left people would board the bus with drinks & food and then again at nearly all the stops. I had to laugh when we had to pull into the petrol station to fill up.

You realise how much you appreciate fresh air when you have been deprived of it for several hours. I couldn't get off that bus fast enough when we reached Granada. I also think I had lost half my weight through water loss.

Just when I thought I had seen it all came our mode of transport for a 10 minute ride to our hotel, a truck! We all piled into the back like cattle and held on for dear life. As we weaved in and out of the streets, we got intimate with each other through lack of choice. I am certain that we were on two wheels as we turned the corners.

Granada at dusk seems to be very spellbinding and I can't wait to explore it with all its colonial buildings. But for now this weary traveller is in dire need of food!

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